DUNG BEETLES (COLEOPTERA: SCARABAEIDAE) OF THE PARAIBA CAATINGA ECOSYSTEM, BRAZIL.

Malva Isabel Medina Hernández

Abstract


Dung beetles are recognized as functionally important organisms in nutrient cycling of tropical ecosystems. Nevertheless, the ecology of these species remains practically unknown for the important Caatinga ecosystem in the northeast of Brazil. In this study we collected 20 species of the subfamily Scarabaeinae during 15 field campaigns in the region of Cariri, RPPN Fazenda Almas, in the State of Paraíba between 2003 and 2006. The beetle sample data from this extremely arid region demonstrated a very strong seasonal activity pattern, with adults of no species being active after the start of the dry season. The results also include data on ecological characteristics of the species, including patterns of relative abundance, body size, diurnal activity patterns and resource preferences.


Keywords


Diversity, ecology, richness, Scarabaeinae

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